All the news for Monday 19 January 2015
Poland notch second win in World Hockey League
by Aftar Singh
SINGAPORE: Poland staged a dramatic fightback, coming back from two goals down to stun second seeds Japan 3-2 in a Group B match of the World League Second Round at the Sengkang Hockey Stadium.
It was Poland’s second consecutive win, having whipped Mexico 6-0 in the opening match on Saturday. Poland, the world No. 16, will wrap up the fixtures against Bangladesh tomorrow.
Japan, who outplayed Bangladesh 5-1 in their first match, started off well by grabbing the lead through a Kenji Kitazato penalty corner in the 17th minute. They doubled the tally with another penalty corner goal through Koshi Yamabe in the 34th minute.
But Poland, who lost 3-2 twice to Japan in a group match as well as the seventh placing playoff match in the Champions Challenge 1 tournament in Kuantan last April, fought back to score three goals in the last 17 minutes.
Pawel Bratkowski narrowed the deficit with a penalty corner goal in the 43rd minute. Five minutes later, Krystian Makowski equalised with a field goal.
Makowski then scored the winning goal in the 54th minute off a penalty corner.
Poland team manager Tomasz Cichy praised his players for their fighting spirit.
“It was a sweet revenge over Japan as lost to them twice in the Champions Challenge 1 last year.
“With the win, we are now confident of beating Bangladesh to top the group. Our mission is to win the tournament,” said Cichy.
Japan coach Kang Keon-wook was disappointed with his side for allowing the Poles to score three goals in 17 minutes.
“After taking a 2-0 lead, we became complacent. The defeat is a lesson that we cannot take any teams for granted in the tournament,” said the South Korean.
In another Group B match, Bangladesh came back from a goal down to thrash Mexico 6-1.
Alexis Campillo gave world No. 36 Mexico a surprise lead in the 19th minute. Sarowar Hossain was the toast for world No. 22 Bangladesh, netting a hat-trick in the 32nd, 50th and 60th minutes. Rashel Mahmud (37th and 44th) and Pushkor Khisa (43rd) contributed the other goals.
The Star of Malaysia
World League Round 2: Day 2 Results
WORLD LEAGUE ROUND TWO SINGAPORE -- JAN 17-25
P W D L F A Pts
Malaysia 1 1 0 0 5 1 3
Oman 1 1 0 0 3 2 3
Singapore 1 0 0 1 2 3 0
Ukraine 1 0 0 1 1 5 0
P W D L F A Pts
Poland 2 2 0 0 9 2 6
Japan 2 1 0 1 7 4 3
B'ladesh 2 1 0 1 6 6 3
Mexico 2 0 0 2 1 11 0
Group A: Malaysia 5 Ukraine 1, Oman 3 Singapore 2
Group B: Japan 5 Bangladesh 1, Poland 6 Mexico 0.
Jan 18: Group B: Bangladesh 5 Mexico 1, Poland 3 Japan 2.
Jan 19: Group A: Ukraine v Singapore (3pm), Oman v Malaysia
Jan 20: Group A: Ukraine v Oman (5.30pm), Malaysia v Singapore
(8pm); Group B: Japan v Mexico (9am), Bangladesh v Poland (3pm).
Jan 21: REST DAY
Jan 22: Quarter-finals
Jan 23: Fifth-Eighth
Jan 24: Semi-finals
Jan 25: Final and placing matches.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Beng Hai not impressed
by Jugjet Singh
MALAYSIA played well below par against Ukaine in the World League Round Two in Singapore, and the 5-1 winning scoreline did not even impress coach Tai Beng Hai.
Beng Hai brought out the knives out early as Ukraine were never in the match, but were made to look good for three quarters because of a bungling forwardline, led in shame by Firhan Ashaari.
The coach only had one day to talk his players out of their comfort zone before they take on rough-riders Oman, who beat hosts Singapore 3-2 on Saturday.
"Im not impressed as the team did not play hockey for the first three quarters and we can't afford this in the remainder of the tournament," said Beng Hai.
"Maybe the newly-laid pitch, as well as it (Ukraine) being our first match could be some of the factors that caused a jittery start but now that we have gotten over both, we must play differently against Oman," said Beng Hai.
Firhan, 22, has turned out 67 times for the country, including five matches in the recent World Cup at the Hague where he scored one goal -- but against Ukraine he was a total flop.
"I felt that I played OK, but then again, I have played better before with less mistakes made in the semi-circle," admitted Firhan.
Circle penatrations were numerous against Ukraine, but Malaysia only won five penalty corners and shots at goal were few and apart. However, Izwan Firdaus scored two penalty corner rebound goals to ease the pressure when flickers Razie Rahim and Faizal Saari found the Ukraine goalkeeper to be a big wall.
"The third pass was a big problem as the forwards could not connect after that, and we can't afford it against a hard-playing country like Oman," said Beng Hai.
Oman's penalty corner flicker Mohamed Bait Jandal scored a brace to claim Singapore's scalp, and Malaysia can't afford to make the same mistakes as this tournament is supposed to be a walk in the park for Beng Hai's top-seeded players.
All eight teams qualify for the quarter-finals but Malaysia need to finish tops in Group A to play the bottom team in Group B with could be either Bangladesh of Mexico.
The stakes are high in Singapore as three teams qualify for the World League Semi-finals in either Belgium or Argentina -- which offers tickets to the 2016 Rio De Janeiro Olympics.
Jugjet's World of Field Hockey
Firhan vows to play better against Oman in World Hockey League
by Aftar Singh
National hockey coach Tai Beng Hai (in blue) talking to his players after a training session ahead of their match against Oman on Monday. -Bernama
SINGAPORE: Mohd Firhan Ashaari has promised to give a better account of himself when Malaysia take on Oman in their Group A match of the World League Second Round hockey tournament in Singapore.
The 21-year-old was a passenger in Malaysia’s opening 5-1 win over Ukraine on Saturday. He could hardly string a pass and easily lost possession of the ball.
Firhan, who scored three goals for Malaysia at the Incheon Asian Games last September, admitted that he was a letdown against Ukraine.
“I just could not play my usual game and made far too many mistakes. As an experienced player, I should have played much better than newcomer Mohd Haziq (Samsul who scored a goal against Ukraine),” said Firhan, who has 67 international caps.
“I promise to play much better in the next match against Oman tomorrow,” said Firhan, who scored a goal in the World Cup Finals in The Hague, Holland, last June.
National coach Tai Beng Hai was also disappointed with Firhan’s game.
“Haziq played well to score a goal. I hope Firhan will buck up against Oman,” said Beng Hai, who was also not too pleased with the team’s performance against Ukraine.
“We struggled against Ukraine and also lost possession of the ball easily. The forwards also failed to make use of the goal-scoring chances in the semi-circle.
“I hope we will not make the same mistakes against Oman.
“Oman are no pushovers as they play a hard-hitting game. We can expect a robust game. I have advised my players to stay cool and calm as we want to win every match. We are the top seeds (ranked 13th in the world) and we have to live up to the billing,” added Beng Hai.
Like Malaysia, Oman also won their opening match. They edged Singapore 3-2 on Saturday. Malaysia have to watch out for Oman’s penalty corner specialist Mohammed Bait Jandal, who scored two goals against Singapore.
The top three teams here will qualify for the World League Semi-Finals in Belgium and Argentina in June.
The World League is the qualifying tournament for the 2016 Rio de Janiero Olympics.
The Star of Malaysia
Ireland 4-5 Spain (women)
Ireland were narrowly defeated in the second test in Valencia, Spain getting the winner from a PC on the final hooter to win by 5-4.
Ireland open the scoring in the 5m after great play by Kate Dillon set Nikki Evans through and O Flanagan made no mistake with the finish. Spain responded drawing level after a quick free and Lapoujade finished from the penalty spot. Beatty went close but it was Spain who took the lead from a penalty corner strike going in off an Irish defenders stick on the line. Ireland equalised in the 14m Irish Captain Megan Frazer stealing the ball and slots a great reverse into the bottom corner.
The second quarter Ireland, through O Flanagan, went into an early lead having been set up by Katie Mullan. Good defence by Mullan & Daly in this period kept the Spanish scoreless with Ireland leading by 3-2 at half time.
McFerran came in for Davis in the Irish goal for the second half. Good work by Dillon in defence and in attack Ireland had the greater possession with Naomi Carroll cross just failing to find an Irish stick. Spain equalised in the third quarter following some slack Irish marking. Ireland had their first PC of the game but Chloe Brown's drag flick was well saved by Spanish keeper and Spain took the lead for the first time in the game another straight strike from a PC coming off McFerran's pads into the roof of the net.
In the final quarter Spain were pressing Ireland strongly but no further goals. With 10m left on the clock Ireland were back level the initial shot by Nikki Evans rebounded to O'Flanagan who finished from the penalty spot for her hat trick. Both teams pushed for the winner and it looked as if the game would finish in a draw until Spain were awarded a penalty corner with 20 seconds left in the clock. A reverse stick shot dipped and hit the back board to give Spain victory by 5-4 and a hat trick for Comerma.
Irish coach Darren Smith After the game said 'we didn't really have the level of control in the match to warrant getting a result. There were some good patches but we also showed that there is some work to do in the lead up to world league 2. This will continue tomorrow morning at training and with the 3rd and final game on Tuesday morning. '
IRELAND 4 (Anna O Flanagan 3, Megan Frazer)
SPAIN 5 (Gloria Comerma 3, Patricia Marana, Maria Lapoujade)
IRELAND: Stella Davis (GK), Ayeisha McFerran (GK), Cliodhna Sargent, Emma Smyth, Chloe Brown, Nicola Evans, Shirley McCay, Megan Frazer (Capt), Naomi Carroll, Chloe Watkins, Lizzie Colvin, Nicola Daly, Katie Mullan, Anna O Flanagan, Deirdre Duke, Kate Dillon, Yvonne O Byrne, Emily Beatty
Did not play: Gillian Pinder & Emma Gray
Not available: Hannah Matthews, Aine Connery, Gillian Pinder & Ali Meeke
Tuesday 20 January 09.30 (10.30 local)
Irish Hockey Association media release
India improved a lot under Walsh: Mark Knowles
NEW DELHI: Mark Knowles, captain of reigning world hockey champions Australia, believes Terry Walsh's stint as chief coach helped India's performance improve remarkably.
Under Walsh, India had one of their best seasons in the recent past in 2014. India won the Commonwealth Games silver, the Asian Games gold, beat Olympic champions Germany and defeated two top teams to reach the Champions Trophy semis.
But differences with Hockey India (HI) led to Walsh resigning in October.
"India has improved a lot in the last couple of years. The biggest advantage was their coach Walsh. Also, the same bunch of guys playing together continually helps in coordination," Knowles, who is in India for the Hockey India League (HIL), said in an interview from Chandigarh.
"India have delivered some impressive performances especially in the Champions Trophy. Then they performed well in the Commonwealth and Asian Games. They have played well in phases but have not been able to maintain that consistency. They have to be committed consistently like Australia to compete with the top teams."
The 30-year-old, two-time World Cup winner, on Friday also became the recipient of the prestigious annual International Hockey Federation (FIH) Player of the Year award.
"It is really an amazing feeling to win such a prestigious award. It is a nice recognition of the hard work that I have put in with the Kookaburra squad who have run over other teams regularly in the last six years," said Knowles, who won the Olympic gold in 2004, following it up with two back-to-back bronze medals in 2008 and 2012.
The Kookaburra, who was the Player of the Tournament in their 2014 World Cup victory, said 2014 was the best year of his career.
"It was the best year of my career. The way Australia played throughout the year and the manner in which we won the World Cup final (6-1) against the Netherlands in their own stadium followed by the Commonwealth Games gold," said Knowles, who hails from Rockhampton, Queensland.
"Then on a personal note, my wife gave birth to my second son; so to top 2014 will be difficult, but I hope to better it by winning the 2016 Rio Olympics gold which is my focus now," added the captain, who was the flag bearer for Australia at the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games.
The hockey superstar is now readying for the third edition of the HIL from Jan 22.
Knowles, who plays for Mohali-based Jaypee Punjab Warriors, is eager to bag the title this year after missing out on it last season.
"In the first year we finished fourth, in the second year we finished second. This year we plan to go one better. Obviously the first aim is to finish in the top-4 and qualify for the semis. Last time we failed to win the league, but we have a big opportunity this time," said the Perth resident, who won the 2010 World Cup here.
But, for the time being, the veteran is eager to gorge on his favourite Indian delicacies.
"I arrived here Tuesday and since then I have had chicken tikka, butter chicken, butter naan and lentils. I just love the food here," added the Australian.
The Times of India
‘Rio berth was key for HIL’
Australian hockey team captain Mark Knowles feels India’s qualification for the 2016 Rio Olympics was “crucial” for the longevity of the Hero Hockey India League (HHIL), the third edition of which will begin on January 22 in Bhubaneswar.
Knowles believes that the first two editions of the HHIL were just the build-up and the real challenge for the organisers from here on is to sustain the league.
“The HHIL is very popular back home in Australia. There are about 21-22 Australian players who are playing in the league, so every match is keenly followed back home,” he said.
“But what was crucial for the league was India’s qualification for the Rio Olympics. It was an important part for the sustainability of the league because it means there will be more fan following, more sponsors and support for league,” Knowles, who plays for Punjab Warriors, said. Knowles has high regards for the present Indian team but feels the Sardar Singh-led side lacks consistency to excel at the top stage.
“The Indian team is getting better and better with every passing day... But what I feel is that they need to play more consistently, they need to play more compact at the higher level,” he said.
Wimbledon and Loughborough reach top flight
Wimbledon racked up a pair of wins to steal the Hockey 5s Championship Men’s Division One title from under the noses of Loughborough Students at the University of West England in Bristol on Sunday.
Wimbledon beat Loughborough 3-2 on the final day to leap-frog them in the table, although both will be promoted to the top flight.
Loughborough went into the game top of the table, but lost to a Wimbledon side who followed that up by beating Doncaster 5-1 to confirm the title by two points.
Ed Horler, who hit ten goals in total over the weekend, was the star for Loughborough, who thrashed Doncaster 12-2 earlier in the day.
John Sterlini hit ten goals over the weekend for Southgate, who beat Bournville 14-6 and Brooklands Manchester University 7-6, while mid-table pair Old Loughtonians and Cannock served up a high-scoring draw in a 5-5 thriller.
Harleston Magpies’ relegation was rubber-stamped after they lost 6-2 to Old Loughtonians and 8-3 to Cannock.
And Bournville’s 8-5 loss to Brooklands Manchester University ensured they finished on zero points and will also play in Division Two next season.
England Hockey Board Media release
Surbiton and Leicester promoted
Surbiton and Leicester secured promotion to the Premier Division of the Hockey 5s Championship with two wins on the final day of the Women’s Division One at Nottingham Trent University on Sunday.
Surbiton started the afternoon with a hard-fought 4-2 victory over Horsham before a resounding 9-1 success over Wakefield, thanks to two goals each from Georgie Twigg, Harriet Tibble and Giselle Ansley.
Leicester were also promoted to the top flight as they confirmed their second-placed finish thanks to wins over third-placed Bristol Firebrands (4-0) and Olton and West Warwickshire (7-5), who narrowly avoided the drop.
Bristol had earlier beaten Olton 3-2 in the day’s opening clash, while Horsham’s relegation was confirmed after they went down to a 4-1 defeat to Wakefield, when a win would have kept them up.
Jess Bloom finished as the division’s top scorer with 17 goals, hitting two in Buckingham’s 5-0 thrashing of bottom-of-the-table Ipswich, who also went down to a 3-0 reverse against Brooklands Poynton.
Bloom was involved in a fitting finale as Buckingham and Brooklands Poynton served up a thriller in the division’s closing game, with the spoils shared in a 5-5 draw.
England Hockey Board Media release
Australian Indoor U18 Women & Men
NSW women & VIC men named 2015 National Indoor Champions
New South Wales (women) and Victoria (men) were named 2015 National Indoor Champions after picking up gold medals at the Under 18 Indoor Australian Championships in Melbourne on Sunday.
Showcasing strong talent across both pools, rivals, New South Wales and Victoria both featured in the U18 men’s and women’s gold medal finals.
The women’s bronze medal match between Western Australia and Tasmania became a close scoring match, with Tasmania claiming a 4-3 victory.
In the men’s bronze medal final, Queenslander Jackson Willie helped Queensland to a 3-1 victory over Western Australia, after scoring two goals only seconds apart.
The women’s gold medal final featured New South Wales and Victoria. Under the watchful eye of coach Pip Sanders, New South Wales’ Abigail Wilson started the scoring off early, giving New South Wales a 4-1 lead coming into half time.
Two quick goals from Victoria’s Samantha Wagg and one from Carly James wasn’t enough to push Victoria over the line, with New South Wales defeating Victoria 5-4 after a last minute goal from Katrina Rekunow.
Joshua Ephraums from Victoria started the men’s gold medal final between Victoria and New South Wales off positively after scoring the opening goal. Hosts Victoria pushed away from their opponents in the second half, doubling their 2-1 score from halftime to 4-1, claiming the 2015 national indoor title.
Maddie Murphy (Tasmania), Anna Roberts (Western Australia), Zack Meaden (Victoria) and Jackson Willie (Queensland) picked up joint women’s and men’s player of the tournament awards.
Play the Whistle awards were awarded to the New South Wales women’s team, and a joint award to Tasmania and New South Wales for the U18 men’s teams.
U18 Women’s & Men’s Final Placings
Gold – New South Wales
Silver - Victoria
Bronze – Tasmania
4th – Western Australia
5th - Australian Capital Territory
6th – Queensland
7th - South Australia
Gold - Victoria
Silver – New South Wales
Bronze - Queensland
4th – Western Australia
5th - Australian Capital Territory
6th - South Australia
7th - Tasmania
Hockey Australia media release
Flooded pitch, SMK Padang Midin pulls out of hockey league
by S. Ramaguru
From left: Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) secretary Datuk Johari Aziz, MHC senior vice-president Dr. S. Shamala, Nestle sports marketing manager Ng Ping Loong, MHC vice-president and competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan and National Sports Council officer Ikhwan Ismail at the sponsorship presentation ceremony for MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League in Bukit Jalil. -ROHAIZAT MD DARUS/The Star
KUALA LUMPUR: The recent floods in the east coast have forced Terengganu’s SMK Padang Midin to pull out of the MHC-Milo-NSC Junior Hockey League (MJHL).
SMK Padang Midin, a regular participant, cited the unavailability of their artificial pitch as it is still covered in mud, as the reason for withdrawing. They also informed the Malaysian Hockey Confederation (MHC) that they could not get the team ready in time for their first match. The MHJL starts on Friday.
MHC vice-president and competitions committee chairman M. Gobinathan said they would not take any action against SMK Padang Midin, adding that they had a valid reason for the late pull-out.
“We will now have 30 teams in the fray. We still have a record number of entries this year compared to 27 last season,” he said.
Nine teams will play in Division One while the other 21 teams will be divided into three pools of seven teams in Division two.
The teams in Division One are SSTMI-Thunderbolt, Universiti Kuala Lumpur (UniKL), Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ), Olak-PKT Tigers, SSTMI Juniors, MSS Pahang-Thunderbolt, Politeknik Malaysia, KLSS-KLHC and Bukit Jalil Sports School (BJSS).
SSTMI-Thunderbolt are the defending double champions.
The top four teams in Division One will qualify for the knockout stage. The other four teams will come from Division Two after a playoff.
The preliminary round will end on March 1 with the final for the overall title scheduled for March 15. The total prize money is RM124,000 with the overall champions taking home RM25,000.
The four-quarter format will be used this season. There is an additional new ruling with the long corners being taken from the 23-yard line.
The Star of Malaysia